Student Spotlight: Joshua Schweitzer
Major: Criminal Justice
After Joshua Schweitzer graduated from high school, he enrolled at Illinois State University.
Unfortunately, he didn't pass most of his classes, so he decided to take time off from school and instead joined the Army. While at basic training, he was called home due to a family emergency.
"I quit the Army before completion, returned home and was left with nothing," he said. "I began working at Aramark for a short time while I regained focus, and I decided that I wanted to pursue academic achievement with a passion."
Wanting to stay close to home, Schweitzer started at College of DuPage because friends and family spoke highly of its programs. What he found was so much more.
"College of DuPage has helped me toward my goals by providing excellent teachers, engaging courses, structure and meaningful assistance," he said. "It has been beneficial to be able to openly talk to teachers, receive advice and support when pursuing out-of-class endeavors, such as internships.
"Honestly, one of the most beneficial things I’ve been able to develop at COD is the ability to engage and voice my opinion more often. I enjoy providing my input during discussions and the time I usually spend talking to teachers after class. Being a leader in the classroom requires flexibility, careful listening, speaking when appropriate, remaining organized and treating others with respect. A good leader knows that they are accountable for their words and actions; a good leader accepts input and admits when they are wrong."
One of Schweitzer's most memorable experiences was having two separate teachers approach him to use his papers for two different reasons -- one for the school news and another for a writing competition.
"Each teacher said that this was his or her first time submitting a student’s work in the 16 or 17 years they had been in the profession. It was rewarding to be recognized and for each teacher to set aside time to congratulate me on my success," he said. "Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, receiving incredible feedback, meeting wonderful people and fostering a renewed love for education has made my experience at College of DuPage parallel to none."
In 2014, Schweitzer was named an Outstanding Graduate finalist and graduated with highest honors. He has enrolled in the College's 3+1 program in Criminal Justice with Lewis University and is pursuing a summer 2014 internship at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office with the help of his professors, especially Theo Darden.
"I’m in a period of mental transition, so I am trying to envision future goals and work toward those – and I know I will continue to receive excellent advice from the teachers at both the College of DuPage and Lewis," he said.
Schweitzer is interested in a federal law enforcement job, ideally as an air marshal. Otherwise, he'd like to find something at a local police department. He also believes in continuing education, whether it's working toward a certificate or enrolling in a master’s program.
He encourages anyone considering college to attend College of DuPage.
"College of DuPage offers engaging classes, helpful teachers and unique programs, but more importantly, the faculty recognize you as a person unlike at larger universities," he said. "There is nothing engaging about a 200-person lecture, nor is there time or serious concern for the individual student. If you don’t want to get lost in the crowd, are uncertain about your future, or desire helpful and engaging classes, then I would not hesitate to seriously consider applying to the College of DuPage. This school is is foundational. It challenges you to be the best student you can.
"I refuse to ever fail again. The road toward redemption has been long, but every day has been worth it. College of DuPage has offered many wonderful opportunities and I'm excited to see where I will go. I am forever grateful for my parents' continuing support, my wonderful family and brother, and for my fiancé's constant encouragement."
2014 College of DuPage